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Technical Paper

A Discrete-Event Simulation of the NASA Fuel Production Plant on Mars

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is preparing for a manned mission to Mars to test the sustainment of civilization on the planet Mars. This research explores the requirements and feasibility of autonomously producing fuel on Mars for a return trip back to Earth. As a part of NASA’s initiative for a manned trip to Mars, our team’s work creates and analyzes the allocation of resources necessary in deploying a fuel station on this foreign soil. Previous research has addressed concerns with a number individual components of this mission such as power required for fuel station and tools; however, the interactions between these components and the effects they would have on the overall requirements for the fuel station are still unknown to NASA. By creating a baseline discrete-event simulation model in a simulation software environment, the research team has been able to simulate the fuel production process on Mars.
Technical Paper

A Distributed Environment for Analysis of Events Related to Range Safety

This paper features a distributed environment and the steps taken to incorporate the Virtual Range model into the Virtual Test Bed (VTB) infrastructure. The VTB is a prototype of a virtual engineering environment to study operations of current and future space vehicles, spaceports, and ranges. The High-Level Architecture (HLA) is the main environment. The VTB/HLA implementation described here represents different systems that interact in the simulation of a Space Shuttle liftoff. An example implementation displays the collaboration of a simplified version of the Space Shuttle Simulation Model and a simulation of the Launch Scrub Evaluation Model.
Technical Paper

A Distributed Environment for Spaceports

This paper describes the development of a distributed environment for spaceport simulation modeling. This distributed environment is the result of the applications of the High-Level Architecture (HLA) and integration frameworks based on software agents and XML. This distributed environment is called the Virtual Test Bed (VTB). A distributed environment is needed due to the nature of the different models needed to represent a spaceport. This paper provides two case studies: one related to the translation of a model from its native environment and the other one related to the integration of real-time weather.
Technical Paper

A Distributed Simulation of a Martian Fuel Production Facility

The future of human exploration in the solar system is contingent on the ability to exploit resources in-situ to produce mission consumables. Specifically, it has become clear that the success of a manned mission to Mars will likely depend on fuel components created on the Martian surface. While several architectures for an unmanned fuel production surface facility on Mars exist in theory, a simulation of the performance and operation of these architectures has not been created. In this paper, the framework describing a simulation of one such architecture is defined. Within this architecture, each component of the base is implemented as a state machine, with the ability to communicate with other base elements as well as a supervisor. An environment supervisor is also created which governs low level aspects of the simulation such as movement and resource distribution, in addition to higher-level aspects such as location selection with respect to operations specific behavior.
Journal Article

A Methodology on Guiding Effectiveness-Focused Training of the Weapon Operator Using Big Data and VC Simulations

Operator training using a weapon in a real-world environment is risky, expensive, time-consuming, and restricted to the given environment. In addition, governments are under intense scrutiny to provide security, yet they must also strive for efficiency and reduce spending. In other words, they must do more with less. Virtual simulation, is usually employed to solve these limitations. As the operator is trained to maximize weapon effectiveness, the effectiveness-focused training can be completed in an economical manner. Unfortunately, the training is completed in limited scenarios without objective levels of training factors for an individual operator to optimize the weapon effectiveness. Thus, the training will not be effective. For overcoming this problem, we suggest a methodology on guiding effectiveness-focused training of the weapon operator through usability assessments, big data, and Virtual and Constructive (VC) simulations.
Technical Paper

A Model-Based Fault Diagnostic and Control System for Spacecraft Power

This paper describes a model-based approach to diagnosing electrical faults in electrical power systems. Until recently, model-based reasoning has only been applied to physical systems with static, persistent states, and with parts whose behavior can be expressed combinatorially, such as digital circuits. Our research is one of a handful of recent efforts to apply model-based reasoning to more complex systems, those whose behavior is difficult or impossible to express combinatorially, and whose states change continuously over time. The chosen approach to representation is loosely based on the idea of the equation network proposed in [6]. This requires a more complex component and behavior model than for simpler physical devices. The resulting system is being tested on fault data from the SSM/PMAD power system breadboard being developed at NASA-MSFC [9].
Journal Article

An Architecture for Monitoring and Anomaly Detection for Space Systems

Complex aerospace engineering systems require innovative methods for performance monitoring and anomaly detection. The interface of a real-time data stream to a system for analysis, pattern recognition, and anomaly detection can require distributed system architectures and sophisticated custom programming. This paper presents a case study of a simplified interface between Programmable Logic Controller (PLC) real-time data output, signal processing, cloud computing, and tablet systems. The discussed approach consists of three parts: First, the connectivity of real-time data from PLCs to the signal processing algorithms, using standard communication technologies. Second, the interface of legacy routines, such as NASA's Inductive Monitoring System (IMS), with a hybrid signal processing system. Third, the connectivity and interaction of the signal processing system with a wireless and distributed tablet, (iPhone/iPad) in a hybrid system configuration using cloud computing.
Technical Paper

Building Multiple Resolution Modeling Systems Using the High-Level Architecture

The modeling and simulation pyramid in defense states it clearly: Multi-Level modeling and simulation are required. Models and simulations are often classified by the US Department of Defense into four levels-campaign, mission, engagement, and engineering. Campaign simulation models are applied for evaluation; mission-level simulations to experiment with the integration of several macro agents; engagement simulations in engineered systems development; and engineering-level simulation models with a solid foundation in structural physics and components. Models operating at one level must be able to interact with models at another level. Therefore, the cure (“silver bullet”) is very clear: a comprehensive framework for Multiple Resolution Modeling (MRM) is needed. In this paper, we discuss our research about how to construct MRM environments.
Technical Paper

Case for a Multidisciplinary Modeling Platform for Space Launch Risk Analysis

With the development and licensing of inland, state-owned spaceports, and the ongoing development of several new reusable launch vehicles (RLV), the space launch industry is undergoing a significant transformation. As a result, there is a need to reevaluate current launch risk analysis methodologies and practices, which so far have revolved around the conservative casualty expectation analysis developed in the 1950s. Furthermore, an important aspect of launch risk analysis which gives rise to its complexity is its multidisciplinary nature. In analyzing such risk, the physics of and interactions between the varieties of hazards produced by launch vehicles breakups must be captured, modeled and, their effects analyzed. In this paper we discuss how a well-designed multidisciplinary modeling and analysis platform could be a significant step toward reducing the complexity just mentioned.
Technical Paper

Chaos Analysis on In-Cylinder Pressure Measurements

Peak pressure, crank angle and induction pressure were measured in cylinder number one of a Ford 4.6 liter Modular engine. Chaos analysis was conducted on these measurements and the phase, waveform, Poincare, and FFT plots are presented. These plots show conclusively that the pressure fluctuation inside a cylinder is a broadband chaos.
Journal Article

Data Mining and Complex Problems: Case Study in Composite Materials

Data mining is defined as the discovery of useful, possibly unexpected, patterns and relationships in data using statistical and non-statistical techniques in order to develop schemes for decision and policy making. Data mining can be used to discover the sources and causes of problems in complex systems. In addition, data mining can support simulation strategies by finding the different constants and parameters to be used in the development of simulation models. This paper introduces a framework for data mining and its application to complex problems. To further explain some of the concepts outlined in this paper, the potential application to the NASA Shuttle Reinforced Carbon-Carbon structures and genetic programming is used as an illustration.
Technical Paper

Development of the Multi-Resolution Modeling Environment through Aircraft Scenarios

Multi-Resolution Modeling (MRM) is one of the key technologies for building complex and large-scale simulations using legacy simulators. MRM has been developed continuously, especially in military fields. MRM plays a crucial role to describe the battlefield and gathering the desired information efficiently by linking various levels of resolution. The simulation models interact across different local and/or distance area networks using the High Level Architecture (HLA) regardless of their operating systems and hardware. The HLA is a standard architecture developed by the US Department of Defense (DoD) and is meant to create interoperability among different types of simulators. Therefore, MRM implementations are very dependent on Interoperability and Composability. This paper summarizes the definition of MRM-related terminology and proposes a basic form of MRM system using Commercial Off-The-Shelf (COTS) simulators and HLA.
Technical Paper

Dynamic Object Map based architecture for robust CVS systems.

Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CAV) rely on information obtained from sensors and communication to make decisions. In a Cooperative Vehicle Safety (CVS) system, information from remote vehicles (RV) is available at the host vehicle (HV) through the wireless network. Safety applications such as crash warning algorithms use this information to estimate the RV and HV states. However, this information is uncertain and sparse due to communication losses, limitations of communication protocols in high congestion scenarios, and perception errors caused by sensor limitations. In this paper we present a novel approach to improve the robustness of the CVS systems, by proposing an architecture that divide application and information/perception subsystems.
Technical Paper

Effect of Inventory Storage on Automotive Flooded Lead-Acid Batteries

The battery is a central part of the vehicle’s electrical system and has to undergo cycling in a wide variety of conditions while providing an acceptable service life. Within a typical distribution chain, automotive lead-acid batteries can sit in storage for months before delivery to the consumer. During storage, batteries are subjected to a wide variety of temperature profiles depending on facility-specific characteristics. Additionally, batteries typically do not receive any type of maintenance charge before delivery. Effects of storage time, temperature, and maintenance charging are explored. Flooded lead-acid batteries were examined immediately after storage and after installation in vehicles subjected to normal drive patterns. While phase composition is a major consideration, additional differences in positive active material (PAM) were observed with respect to storage parameters.
Technical Paper

Electromechanical Actuator Cooling Fan Reliability Analysis and Safety Improvement

The aircraft electromechanical actuator (EMA) cooling fan is a critical component because an EMA failure caused by overheating could lead to a catastrophic failure in aircraft. Fault tree analysis (FTA) is used to access the failure probability of EMA fans with the goal of improving their mean time to failure (MTTF) from ∼O(5×104) to ∼ O(2.5×109) hours without incurring heavy weight penalty and high cost. The dual-winding and dual-bearing approaches are analyzed and a contra rotating dual-fan design is proposed. Fan motors are assumed to be brushless direct current (BLDC) motors. To have a full understanding of fan reliability, all possible failure mechanisms and failure modes are taken into account. After summarizing the possible failure causes and failure modes of BLDC fans by focusing on each failure mechanism, the life expectancy of fan ball bearings based on a major failure mechanism of lubricant deterioration is calculated and compared to that provided in the literature.
Technical Paper

Enabling Much Higher Power Densities in Aerospace Power Electronics with High Temperature Evaporative Spray Cooling

A power electronics module was equipped with an evaporative spray cooling nozzle assembly that served to remove waste heat from the silicon devices. The spray cooling nozzle assembly took the place of the standard heat sink, which uses single phase convection. The purpose of this work was to test the ability of spray cooling to enable higher power density in power electronics with high temperature coolant, and to be an effective and lightweight system level solution to the thermal management needs of aerospace vehicles. The spray cooling work done here was with 95 °C water, and this data is compared to 100 °C water/ propylene glycol spray cooling data from a previous paper so as to compare the spray cooling performance of a single component liquid to that of a binary liquid such as WPG. The module used during this work was a COTS module manufactured by Semikron, Inc., with a maximum DC power input of 180 kW (450 VDC and 400 A).
Technical Paper

Engine Knock, A Renewed Concern In Motorsports - A Literature Review

This paper reviews the literature which identifies the causes, consequences and cures for engine knock as it affects high performance engines. The physical events of normal and abnormal combustion are described. The observed variations in combustion phenomenon are explained through chemical kinetics. A mathematical model of combustion which can predict knock in an engine cylinder is summarized. Several mechanisms of knock induced damage are outlined. Design and operating considerations which affect an engine's propensity to knock are discussed. Terms that have become associated with combustion in general and the knocking phenomenon in particular are collected and examined
Technical Paper

Habitat Design Considerations for Mitigating Social Stressors in Long-Duration Spaceflight

Social stressors in long-duration spaceflight (LDSF) have serious implications for crew effectiveness and mission safety. This paper reviews potential stressors and presents habitat and organizational design considerations to reduce perceived demand from social stressors in four areas: privacy and personal space, isolation, interpersonal interactions, and cultural differences. Results can serve as guidelines for the design of future LDSF missions and spacecraft, and will benefit attempts to develop an accurate model of stress in the spaceflight domain.
Journal Article

Heat Transfer Performance of a Dual Latent Heat Sink for Pulsed Heat Loads

This paper presents the concept of a dual latent heat sink for thermal management of pulse heat generating electronic systems. The focus of this work is to verify the effectiveness of the concept during charging through experimentation. Accordingly, custom components were built and a prototype version of the heat sink was fabricated. Experiments were performed to investigate the implementation feasibility and heat transfer performance. It is shown that this heat sink is practicable and helps in arresting the system temperature rise during charging (period of pulse heat load).
Technical Paper

High-pressure laminar burning velocity measurements of ethanol- a Co-Optima fuel candidate

Co-Optimization of Fuels and Engines initiative (Co-Optima) of the U.S Department of Energy initiated investigations on several candidates of biofuels and blends for internal combustion engines. Several biofuels were selected by screening criteria, which were boiling point, toxicity, research octane number, octane sensitivity, laminar flame speed, and economical distribution system, etc. In this study, we focused our investigation on ethanol – a key fuel candidate. Measurements of properties such as ignition delay time and laminar burning velocity (LBV) are necessary for these fuels in order to understand their performance and applicability in engines. One key combustion metric is the fuel’s LBV in air over a range of equivalence ratios. LBV is dependent on reactive mixture composition, temperature, and pressure, but it is independent of hydrodynamic conditions, such as stretch rate, turbulent intensity, and Reynolds number.